By Lori AthertonJune 27, 2016
As a litigation associate at Proskauer Rose LLP, Jane Wu Brower, '11, spent a year representing Major League Baseball in an antitrust lawsuit involving League broadcasting practices. The legal work was challenging, but what proved even more daunting for Brower was her limited knowledge of baseball. Client dinners and development events always included small talk about the sport, which left Brower feeling as though she had little to contribute.
She turned to one of her law firm friends for help, and the rundown he gave her of current sports happenings helped to ease Brower's anxiety. "Through that experience I realized there wasn't a great resource for someone who, for personal or professional reasons, wanted to learn more about sports in a fun and accessible way," Brower said.
Brower decided she would be the one to fill that void and, in winter 2015, started Goalposte, a daily e-newsletter that summarizes major sports news into bite-sized chunks of information. Brower, who had been working as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group since 2014, gave up her full-time job in January to focus solely on Goalposte.
Geared toward novice sports fans and young professionals, Goalposte highlights what's going on in the major professional leagues, and covers other sports depending on the season. Brower reported on March Madness, for instance, and is gearing up to cover the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Goalposte also includes primers on football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer, offering readers the basics on how the games are played. Brower culls her content from a variety of sources, including ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, and Bleacher Report; writes the copy; and sends the newsletter to subscribers.
"I try to look at what's most talked about," Brower said of her editorial process. "That's the service I want to provide—to enable readers to be on top of what their co-workers or friends or significant others are discussing. People watch so many different types of programming now, and there's no one big unifying thing besides live sports. To the extent that I can help people in the workplace or in their personal lives develop this interest and have a cultural bond with people, I want to do it."
Given Brower's background—her parents are first-generation Chinese immigrants who wanted her to study instead of play sports—she's proving to her readers that they can become knowledgeable about sports if they have an interest in learning. "I am the test case that anyone can get into sports later in life and be conversant in the sports they choose," she said.
Leaving the security of a stable income was "terrifying," but once Brower made the leap from management consultant to entrepreneur, she was relieved to put her "full weight behind Goalposte." She admits there are highs and lows to getting a startup newsletter off the ground, including building a subscriber base, but said her belief in what's she doing, coupled with the positive feedback she's received thus far, keep her motivated.
"Hearing from different audiences has been rewarding," Brower said. "What's been surprising is hearing from a number of men who don't follow sports but feel pressure to know what's going on, and now they have this resource. That's what has been fun about Goalposte—bringing sports to new audiences who might not have been interested in it before."
Visit the Goalposte website for more information or to subscribe.
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